Dancing Around that Religion Thing

There are two things that they say one should not discuss in public settings; politics and religion. Yet, my new book Exodus takes the latter topic head on, and examines what causes people to act violently in the name of religion.

I realize that the time has come for me to have these conversations online, whether I like it or not. You can’t drop a rock this big in the middle of the pond, and expect to walk away without getting a little water on you.

Still, I am reticent to discuss religion here. It’s always a recipe for volatility.

Perhaps the Exodus conversation will be more of a commentary of others. The book may just be the impetus to have those discussions.

I hope the book does not offend the majority of my Christian friends. Exodus focuses on Christian fundamentalism mostly because it takes place here in the United States. One of my greatest fears is a militarized Christian right, a result of life as a Jew who experienced antisemitism.

One could easily swap out Christianity and substitute Islam or another faith. This is a story that’s been replayed throughout history, and it is destined to continue well into our future.

I know the various flavors of Christianity hold great spiritual value, and comfort millions of people. In my adult life, I’ve come to embrace certain aspects of the faith, and know a few prayers by heart. I’ll never call myself a Christian, but I’m happy to admire the faith’s spiritual value.

One of the characters in the book, Mordecai, represents what I really think of Christianity. In the end, Mordecai’s tolerance and willingness to serve the community in the face his hosts’ ignorance become saving graces.

What do you think about religious conversations online?